Damien Lemon: "Open mics, that’s where you start. That’s like the mixtape circuit, that’s when you first try to find your voice and get your name out there. You build a fan base and get your bearings.

"If you’re a rapper, you start to understand what your flow is, start to understand what you like to talk about, what [listeners] respond to. Whereas with a comedian, you start to get a grasp of your voice—how to write jokes, how to approach jokes, how to structure jokes.

"Being on Guy Code was a great look for me. That was like a feature verse. That’s like Capadonna on 'Winter Warz' or Nas on 'Live at the Barbeque.' You’re like, 'Who that? Where else did I see him?' It starts the buzz going. Damn, I gave a Capadonna 'Winter Warz' and Nas 'Live at the Barbecue' reference, those are both old as shit.

"My first Comedy Central special is kind of like my first album. It’s 30 minutes, it’s not the hour—it might be the EP. That’s 22 minutes of me doing me. That’s going to give them the Damien Lemon experience and hopefully mobilize an audience and then they’ll continue to grow with me. It’s my intro to the game.

"Your first hour is like your first album, that’s like the Illmatic, the good kid, m.A.A.d city. That’s the one where you had your whole life to own that. Getting an HBO special is like a Gangsta Grillz."